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Fair Employment Protection Act Introduced!

Posted by Liz Watson, Senior Counsel and Director of Workplace Justice for Women | Posted on: March 14, 2014 at 10:29 am

On March 13, 2014 Senator Tammy Baldwin, Senator Tom Harkin, Congressman George Miller, and Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro introduced the Fair Employment Protection Act, (S.2133, H.R. 4227) with 12 original cosponsors in the Senate, and 24 original cosponsors in the House. The Fair Employment Protection Act is a commonsense bill to provide strong protections from workplace harassment.

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New Hampshire Takes a Unanimous Step on the Path to Equal Pay

Posted by Emily Werth, Fellow | Posted on: March 13, 2014 at 04:39 pm

Today the members of New Hampshire’s Senate came together to move that state one step closer to achieving pay equity. In a unanimous vote, the Senate passed SB 207 – a bill to strengthen the state’s equal pay law. This bipartisan vote, without a peep of opposition, reflects the simple fact that giving women tools to combat pay discrimination and close the wage gap is a common sense solution that everyone should be able to get behind.

One key reason that unequal pay persists is that many women never find out that they are being paid less than a male coworker for doing the same work, and therefore cannot challenge this discrimination. This is no accident – many employers proactively try to keep their employees in the dark about what others are being paid, including by threatening them with punishment for discussing their salaries. In fact, a recent survey found that over 61 percent of private-sector workers reported that discussing their wages with coworkers was either explicitly prohibited or at least discouraged by their employers. SB 207 bans requirements that workers not discuss their wages and punishment of workers who do so.

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Fair Employment Protection Act: A Common-Sense Solution to an All-Too-Common Problem

Posted by Lauren Khouri, Fellow | Posted on: March 13, 2014 at 12:30 pm

For too many men and women, harassment is a workplace reality. In 2013 alone, the combined total number of harassment charges filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and state Fair Employment Practices Agencies, including charges for race, sex, religion, and national origin, was over 30,000, 82 percent of which were brought by women.

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Carolyn McHugh Confirmed to Tenth Circuit Today

Posted by Amy K. Matsui, Senior Counsel and Director of Women and the Courts | Posted on: March 12, 2014 at 12:43 pm

Today, the Senate confirmed Carolyn McHugh to a Utah-based seat on the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals by a vote of 98-0.  Following Judge McHugh’s confirmation, the number of active female judges on this court has doubled (to two), another milestone to celebrate during Women’s History Month. Read more... 1 comment

Colorado Bill Improving Child Care Tax Credit Advances Out of Legislative Committee

Posted by Amy K. Matsui, Senior Counsel and Director of Women and the Courts | Posted on: March 12, 2014 at 09:55 am

The early learning experiences of children make a huge difference. Unfortunately, low- and moderate-income families are in desperate need of resources to help pay for child care. In Colorado, for example, the average cost of center-based child care [PDF] was $12,621 for an infant and $9,239 for a four-year old (in contrast, the average in-state tuition at a public Colorado four-year college was $7,849). Unfortunately, for many families, such help is hard to come by.  In Colorado, a family earning up to 85% of state median income (around $58,000 a year for a family of three in 2013) may be eligible for child care assistance, but in many counties, the income limit is much lower.  And a family of three with income at 150% of the federal poverty level (around $29,295 a year in 2013) would still have to pay $269 per month, or 11% of their income, in child care co-payments.  For those families, $3,228 per year is a significant chunk out of their budget.  And although Colorado offers a refundable tax credit for child care expenses, the current structure of the credit makes it almost impossible for low-income families to benefit. 

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What Could We Do If We Weren't Afraid of Being "Bossy"?

Posted by Becka Wall, Program Assistant | Posted on: March 12, 2014 at 09:44 am

When I was three, I jumped up during ballet class at Olga Berest’s Dance Studio and began busting a move. The teachers couldn’t get me to stop dancing. I thought that because it was a dance class, we should always be moving, and I took serious action on that viewpoint.

I was certainly not afraid of expressing myself – because I was three. Children aren’t born afraid of being themselves and making their preferences heard. They freely express their opinions, tell us what to do, and are unapologetic about who they are.

But, as the new #BanBossy campaign explains, by the time girls hit middle school, they are less interested in leadership than boys – because they are afraid of being labeled “bossy.”

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Six New Facts on Why We Must Raise the Minimum Wage and Advance Equal Pay

We like numbers! We’ve previously identified 10 reasons why raising the minimum wage is a women’s issue. Well, we’ve been crunching some new employment and wage data and wanted to share these new six facts (and a chart!) that underscore why it’s critical to raise the minimum wage and advance equal pay and equal opportunity for women:

  • Three-quarters: The share of workers in the 10 largest low-wage occupations (defined in this analysis as those with median hourly wages of less than $10.10 per hour) who are women (76 percent), compared to 47 percent of all workers who are women.
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Take Action for Children and Families

Posted by Amy Qualliotine, Outreach Manager | Posted on: March 10, 2014 at 09:17 am

This week your Senators could vote to reauthorize the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG). If it passes, this victory will be an important step in building a strong early learning system.

Call 202-224-3121 and urge your Senators to vote YES to reauthorize CCDBG! It’s as easy as 1-2-3.

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